A personal favorite is the “Arresting Images” gallery of mug shots. (For the record, Bugsy Siegel looked nothing like Warren Beatty.) Another is the collection of contract riders for musical and comedy acts, specifying which goodies are to be stocked in dressing rooms. While Britney Spears apparently favors Cool Ranch Doritos, Frank Sinatra insisted on Jack Daniels, Chivas Regal, Courvoisier, and Beefeater Gin.
What I Don’t Like
1) Lou Dobbs, emerging CNN demagogue
The anchor of CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight has sure undergone some serious image reinvention.
In his new incarnation, Dobbs has borrowed a page from the Fox News Channel by making the transition from newsman to pontificating activist — and is reveling in his new role as the Rambo of immigration. Little wonder that one Hispanic advocacy group recently called on CNN to censure him “because it is obvious CNN is allowing him to sacrifice the notion of objective and balanced reporting for sensationalism and ratings increases.” Fair point.
In a recent commentary, Dobbs called out California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, whom he deemed too soft on border security. Suggesting that the former weight lifter was too cowardly to criticize him by name, Dobbs boldly dared Schwarzenegger to “be a man, governor, use names. You know my name.” Puh-leeze. Get over yourself, Lou.
2) The Huffington Post
I am mesmerized by how much Arianna Huffington sounds like Eva Gabor in Green Acres, but I am a little skeptical about her transformation from one-time It girl of the Republican revolution to a sultry dah-ling of the left.
Her Huffington Post, fueled by a stable of high-profile liberal bloggers, is just too antithetical to the concept of the blogosphere as a place for feisty, independent, underdog watchdogs. It’s more like the Rolex of blogs.
In a recent posting, Huffington modestly insisted that her designation as one of Time magazine’s 100 “most influential people,” was “really a tribute to the influence of the blogosphere, which has leveled the playing field between the media haves and the media have-only-a-laptop-and-an-Internet-connection crowd.” Arianna a have-not? I think not.
In a recent faux pas, Huffington basically passed off her words as a George Clooney posting, creating a blogosphere furor and betraying the same lust for celebrity that keeps the supermarket tabs afloat.
3) Boston Common magazine
How can I like a magazine that considers me too low-rent to enjoy it? Having debuted last fall, Boston Common joins a stable of hyper-glossy lifestyle-of-the-rich-and-famous magazines that are published in places like the Hamptons and Aspen.
Who gets Boston Common? People with homes valued at more than $750,000 and household incomes of more than $250,000 a year. Some thought Boston — at its core a tough, working-class city buffed by the sheen of academia and culture — isn’t the kind of place that could be expected to take to a vanity publication. But maybe there are enough people who enjoy seeing themselves gussied up at the cotillion to make this thing fly.